Archive - September 2016

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Larry Leamer’s (Nepal 1965-67) Novel Inspired by watching Donald Trump Eat a Hamburger
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RPCV Jim Turner Created Hobbit House (Philippines)
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RPCVs talk about writing and publishing at Peace Corps Beyond
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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)
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Peace Corps Writers Sessions at NPCA Conference
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Spring Cleaning
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Talking with Clinton Etheridge (Gambia)
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RPCV author Marne Mueller gives talk — “The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II”
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Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016
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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2016

Larry Leamer’s (Nepal 1965-67) Novel Inspired by watching Donald Trump Eat a Hamburger

By Barbara Marshall – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer  Sunday September 18 Stop us if this sounds familiar: Vincent Victor, a pugnacious businessman, playboy and bombastic developer of discount shopping malls called “Victor’s Golden Castle” creates a Miss Universe-like pageant called The Great American Breast Contest which leads to a starring role in a reality TV show called The Vigilantes, which he parlays into a run at the presidency. If that reminds you of Donald Trump, it’s meant to, says author and historian Laurence Leamer, author of “The President’s Butler,” a new satiric novel. Related by Victor’s butler, Billy Baxter, the story portrays Victor as a proudly anti-intellectual attention junkie who spews conspiracy theories and Twitter put-downs. After pummeling his mainstream political opponents to grab the GOP nomination for president, he faces a Democratic opponent he belittles as Blundering Belinda Ball. Any doubts about the object of Leamer’s lampooning are . . .

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RPCV Jim Turner Created Hobbit House (Philippines)

(Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) In the Philippines, Jim Turner’s heartbroken ‘hobbits’ mourn the loss of their patron by William Branigin (c) 2016, The Washington Post. All over Manila, the “little people” are in mourning. Jim Turner (Philippines 1961-63), a former Peace Corps volunteer from Iowa who established the renowned Hobbit House, died on Steptember 8, 2016, at 77 of heart and lung ailments, leaving generations of Philippine dwarfs bereft. The Hobbit House was founded in 1973 as a theme bar and restaurant – a tribute of sorts to Turner’s favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien – and it soon became a haven for the dwarfs he rescued from the capital’s streets and from carnivals and variety shows that demeaned them. He employed dwarfs as waiters, bartenders, cashiers, entertainers, even bouncers. Eventually, they became managers and owners. Over the years, children and grandchildren of the original staff . . .

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RPCVs talk about writing and publishing at Peace Corps Beyond

  On Wednesday, September 21st from 3:15–4:15 pm and then repeated from 4:30 pm–5:30 pm, RPCV authors whose books were influenced by their Peace Corps experience and have been published by the Peace Corps Writers imprint, will participate in panels talking about writing and producing their books. The panels will be moderated by Marian Haley Beil. The panelists are: Emily Creigh (Paraguay 1975–77), who co-authored with and Dr. Martin Amada, Journey to the Heart of the Condor: Love, Loss and Survival in a South American Dictatorship. (Emily will participate only in the second panel.) Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962—64), author of the the memoir Wanderlust Satisfied Marty Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68), author of The Orange Tree, a novel set in Somalia, and Somalia – a collection of short fiction. (Marty will participate only in the first panel.) Jay Hersch (Colombia 1964–66), whose Peace Corps memoir is Time Passages Catherine Onyemelukwe (Nigeria 1962–64), whose memoir is Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad. The panels will be presented at: Floyd Heck . . .

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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)

  Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992-94) who is working on a film about the Peace Corps entitled, The Towering Task,  has just been filming PCVs in Ukraine and alerted me to a former Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ukraine, Chris Miller (Ukraine 2010-2012). Alana writes, “Miller is a highly respected journalist in Ukraine now and does much reporting on the conflict in the east of the country.”   As a PCV, Miller was a Youth Developer Volunteer. He taught, as he writes on Linked In, “English, volunteerism, journalism, IT, healthy living, employment skills, teamwork and sports to Ukrainian youth. I was responsible for the organization of seminars, retreats and camps specializing in sustainable teaching of healthy lifestyles topics by Ukrainian nationals and future PCVs, as well as NGO development. I organized and instructed clubs for local youth, including English clubs, journalism clubs and sports clubs.”   Alana was kind enough to forward to . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Sessions at NPCA Conference

Marvin Center Room 407: Wednesday!, September 21, 2016 3:15 – 4:15 pm: Stories of Peace: Panel Discussion with Marian Haley Beil and Published Peace Corps Authors 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Stories of Peace: Panel Discussion with Marian Haley Beil and Published Peace Corps Authors   Marvin Center Room 403 3:15 – 4:15 pm: Writing Your Peace Corps Story Workshop with John Coyne 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Writing Your Peace Corps Story Workshop with John Coyne Venue Address: Marvin Center – Fourth Floor George Washington University 800 21st St NW Washington, DC 20052 (Later that evening we’ll be meeting again for a chat and a drink at Tonic (2036 G Street NW)

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Spring Cleaning

It’s not spring yet officially until two more weeks, but the warm, sunny days and the fragrant freesias blooming in my garden activate my spring urges. Our apricot tree wears soft white blossoms, and the perfumed air is intoxicating. When I’m not outside talking to the seeds I planted, encouraging them to rise and shine, I’m tackling projects like cleaning out a closet in the spare bedroom. It’s a job I’ve dreaded – sorting through boxes and albums of slides taken by my parents on multiple trips and cruises to Jamaica, Norway, Scottish Highlands, the Pacific Northwest, Chile. Ten boxes, 70 slides per box. Through a mini-viewer I quickly check for people photos. Here’s a surprise. Shots of two survivors of the plane crash in the Andes involving an Uruguayan rugby team. They were staying at the same hotel as my parents while here in Chile for my wedding. I . . .

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Talking with Clinton Etheridge (Gambia)

   An Interview with Clinton Etheridge Clinton Etheridge served in the Peace Corps in Gambia from 1970-72. A July 2011 trip back to West Africa with his family inspired him to write a reflection piece, “What is Africa to Me?” for the Swarthmore College Bulletin. Tell us a little about your background and where you served I was a secondary school math teacher in Peace Corps Gambia from 1970-1972. I grew up in Harlem, came of age during the civil rights movement, and was a black student leader at Swarthmore College in the late 60s. Like many young blacks of that generation, I wore an afro and dashiki and was “black and proud” and fascinated with Africa. I joined Peace Corps Gambia seeking the answer to the question “What is Africa to me?” posed by Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen in his 1925 Heritage. What was it like to be . . .

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RPCV author Marne Mueller gives talk — “The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II”

  On Sunday, September 18, at 4pm, the Hotchkiss Library in  Sharon, Conn. will present, ‘The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II.” Author and Sharon resident Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) will relate her experiences growing up as a Caucasian with her parents in the Tule Lake camp in northern California. A theme of Mueller’s talk is the relationship she sees between the internment camps and the current political climate. Refreshments. Registration preferred. For further information or to reserve a seat, please call the library, 860 364-5041.

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Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016

  The Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990 this Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and political writer for The Village Voice, Cowan died of leukemia in 1988. Winner of the 2016 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award  The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World  by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) • The Maria Thomas Fiction Award This Award is named after the novelist Maria Thomas [Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971–73)] who was the author of a well-reviewed novel and two collections of short stories all set in Africa. She lost her life in August, 1989, while working in Ethiopia for a relief agency. She went down in the plane crash that killed Congressman Mickey Leland of Texas. Winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2016

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? — Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Meeting the Mantis: Searching for a Man in the Desert and Finding the Kalahari Bushmen (Peace Corps memoir) John Ashford (Botswana 1990–92) Peace Corps Writers October 2015 216 pages $13.00 (paperback), $4.00 (Kindle) • A House in Trausse (travel) Leita  Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) self-published 2015 30 pages $12.00 (paperback) • Sailing between the Seas: The Panama Canal (travel) Leita  Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) CreateSpace March 2016 36 pages $15.00 (paperback) • . . .

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